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Annabelle Volgman says too many women feel ignored or dismissed by their doctors and the need for a place where they felt they could be taken seriously was a major impetus behind the Rush Heart Center for Women.

Volgman, who is the center’s medical director, has published numerous articles about women and heart disease and is a leader of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

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African-American women are more likely to die from heart disease than women of other races. Diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, lack of exercise, and smoking are among the factors that put women at risk for heart disease. Studies have shown that African-Americans don’t get the same care for heart disease as whites because they don’t get the same tests and treatments. You have the power to fight heart disease! Read on for some tips to keep your heart healthy.

  • Don’t smoke. If you smoke, try to quit. For help along the way, check out our Quitting Smoking section.
  • Keep a healthy weight.
  • Make physical activity a habit. Health benefits are gained by doing the following each week:
    • 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity


    • 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity


    • A combination of moderate and vigorous aerobic activity


    • Muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days of the week
  • Eat heart-healthy foods. Eat whole-grain foods, vegetables, and fruit. Choose lean meats and low-fat cheese and dairy products. Limit foods that have lots of saturated fat, like butter, whole milk, baked goods, ice cream, fatty meats, and cheese.
  • Know your numbers. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides) and blood glucose (sugar). Follow your doctor’s orders to keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood glucose levels under control.

Get Well Wednesday: Dr. Annabelle Volgman Says Black Women Should Take Heart Health Seriously  was originally published on blackamericaweb.com